President Barack Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by email, while her IT company referred to her email deleting as a “cover-up”, new FBI documents reveal.
The heavily-redacted documents, almost 200 pages, include summaries of interviews with senior Clinton aides concerning the private email server, and brings to light details previously unknown.
During the interview with Huma Abedin, who served as deputy chief of staff under Clinton, the FBI reportedly presented her with an email exchange between Clinton and a person she did not recognize. The FBI then revealed the unknown person’s name was believed to be a pseudonym used by Obama. Abedin reacted by saying, “How is this not classified?”
This exchange could expose Obama as having mislead the public on the issue, given his 2015 statement that he found out about Clinton’s use of a private email server “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.”
The State Department will not make public the emails Clinton exchanged with Obama, citing “presidential communications privilege,” as reason to withhold the emails under the Freedom of Information Act, Politico reports.
The documents also include interview notes with other senior Clinton aides; Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and former Bill Clinton advisor Justin Cooper, who registered the clintonemail.com domain. Romanian hacker Guccifer and a number of state department officials were also interviewed.
The latest FBI document cache also refers to the engineer who used BleachBit to permanently delete emails from Clinton’s server soon after the House Benghazi Committee issued a subpoena for documents relating to the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Libya. According to the engineer, he did this “of his own accord based on his normal practices as an engineer.”
Documents show employees from Platte River Networks, the IT company who managed Clinton’s emails, referring to a request to wipe emails in 2014 as the “Hilary [sic] cover-up operation”. An employee told the FBI this was a joke.
Clinton aide, Bryan Pagliano, said concerns were raised about whether Clinton’s server created a “federal records retention issue” by state department officials in 2009 or 2010. When he communicated these concerns to Mills, however, she said that Clinton’s predecessor, Colin Powell, had also used private email.
The reports further reveal Clinton’s alleged ineptitude with technology, with aides claiming she “could not use a computer,” and didn’t know her email password.
Abedin said she had two computers in her State Department office, one for unclassified communications and another for classified communications. She did most of her work on the unclassified computer and would go “days or weeks without logging into the classified system.”
One redacted interviewee described himself as a “Clintonista” and said he has a relationship with the Clintons dating back years. He said he would meet with Clinton four or five times a day and initially traveled with her until she was comfortable with the position of secretary of state.
The unnamed interviewee said he only became aware of the server after receiving an email from the address, which he thought was spam. He described Clinton as a “paper person” who preferred using paper over electronic communications.
Clinton’s spokesperson, Brian Fallon, responded to the new revelations by saying the interviews “further demonstrate why the Justice Department believed there was no basis to move forward with this case.”
He also criticized the timing of the release, three days before the first debate, in a tweet. Others also questioned the timing , but for a different reason.
The Trump camp said through advisor Jason Miller, the reference to a cover-up “suggests there was a concerted effort to systematically destroy potentially incriminating information.”
“I’m going to give you credit for the ‘peaceful’ protests” wrote Huma Abedin to Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the collapse of the Mubarak regime in Egypt as evidence mounts that the United States manufactured the overthrow of an ally.
New documents first analyzed by Breitbart News show that the US State Department under Hillary Clinton developed and forged a program first started in the last months of the Bush presidency focused on training radical groups, including the controversial Muslim Brotherhood, on how to effectively use social media and other communication outlets to cause disruption and even topple governments.
The program known as Alliance of Youth Movements Summit was co-founded by a close adviser to Clinton, Jared Cohen, during his tenure with the State Department at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, which enabled anti-Mubarak activists to organize and plot the eventual overthrow of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
The program was forged on November 18, 2008, only two weeks after Barack Obama was elected US President but during the “lame-duck” portion of the Bush administration with the first summit held at Columbia Law School in New York.
The seminar focused on using social media outlets including Facebook and MySpace to engage in a tactic called “smart mobbing” in which mobile devices are used to quickly assemble and coordinate mass rallies and protests before authorities are able to fully respond according to Cohen.
The controversy surrounds a particular attendant of the event, a Muslim Brotherhood activist, who was allowed to attend the summit, speak before the audience, network and was introduced to US government officials despite expressing his interest in removing Mubarak from power. Government documents show that officials were aware that the activist had intentions to use social media with acute precision, including systematically alternating sim cards to avoid government detection and avoidance, to forge a movement capable of overthrowing the Mubarak regime.
One of the US government dispatches regarding the individual was even titled “Washington Meetings and April 6 Ideas for Regime Change” and detailed that the activist had met with a “variety” of congressional staffers, two US Senate staffers, and several think tanks and was even invited to speak at a US Congress hearing on House Resolution 1303 on political and religious rights in Egypt.
The US State Department under Hillary Clinton took bold steps to execute the vision initially laid out by Cohen partnering with Google, Facebook and other tech companies to sponsor the 2009 Alliance of Youth Movements in Mexico City on October 16, 2009 in Mexico City addressing that summit for “citizen activists” interested in creating change in their countries via video message.
The Alliance of Youth Movements later spawned into Movements.org in 2011 which has been credited with playing a key role in enabling Egyptian activists to organize rapidly beyond the stretch of government surveillance and before the country’s officials could orchestrate an appropriate response.
The reality that the protesters behind the Arab Spring movement received Western training in how to effectively organize and coordinate using social media hardly comes as a surprise given the unprecedented level of sophistication employed by the activists, but the fact that the US State Department knew and accepted that the training may be employed to overthrow the government of an ally does represent a shocking and untoward revelation.
It seems like all I do these days is skim through the “about” pages of an endless list of NGOs with countless varieties of the same name, looking for the same half-a-dozen funds, endowments, organisations, slogans, mottos and buzzwords that always appear. It’s got to the point where it’s simply a matter of ticking off the items on a shopping list.
The National Endowment for Democracy… check.
The International Monetary Fund… check.
George Soros… check.
It’s always the same. It has come to the point where, if the “Our Partners” section of an organization with a vaguely benign-sounding name, along the lines of Middle East Fund for Democracy and Liberty or somethingorother, DIDN’T contain a reference to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation or the World Bank… I just wouldn’t be able to contain my shock.
Checking up on the sources and organisations behind this opinion piece on the Guardian yesterday morning (September 23rd) did not shock me, in the least.
Enough is enough. It’s time to protect aid workers
Before insisting, in the subhead:
Attacks on those who respond to global emergencies must be stopped – and the perpetrators must be held accountable
The article, written by Patricia McIlreavy, is long on generals but short on specifics. Long on problems, but short on solutions. It doesn’t discuss the war in Syria, except in the most simplistic terms. It doesn’t lay blame for any “attacks” at the feet of anyone specific, it just condemns attacks in general. The gaping maw of the unsaid echoes into infinity. Its final paragraph:
There comes a time when enough is enough, when even the most altruistic among us become angry. That time is now. World leaders must recognise and respect those who rush in to help when all others turn away, and provide humanitarians the protection they need and deserve.
Stop the attacks, and hold accountable those who seek to harm us. The time for talk is over.
It’s perfectly clear what she means, she just can’t actually say it. When she talks about “altruism” becoming anger, when she says the time for talk is over, she is talking about war. She is proposing that UN “peacekeepers” or NATO troops or a “coalition of the willing” or any and all of the above march into Syria and “protect” NGO employees…by attacking the Syrian government, and almost certainly coming into conflict with the Russian military.
But who is this author making this argument and what is the organisation she represents? What is the section of the Guardian which showcases such articles? And what is the foundation that “sponsored” this material in the Guardian ?
Let us tackle these one at a time.
1. The Author’s Foundation
The author, the Guardian tells us, is Patricia McIlreavy, the vice-president of Humanitarian Policy and Practice at InterAction.
“What is InterAction?”, you ask?
InterAction is an alliance organization in Washington, D.C. of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Our 180-plus members work around the world. What unites us is a commitment to working with the world’s poor and vulnerable, and a belief that we can make the world a more peaceful, just and prosperous place – together.
InterAction serves as a convener, thought leader and voice of our community. Because we want real, long-term change, we work smarter: We mobilize our members to think and act collectively, because we know more is possible that way. We also know that how we get there matters. So we set high standards. We insist on respecting human dignity. We work in partnerships.
Doesn’t that sound nice? Working in partnerships, protecting the vulnerable, human dignity. That’s all good stuff, right? Shame on you for thinking it’s nothing but empty marketing and PR sloganeering.
I mean, just because the author of the article used to work at USAID, and just because their CEO worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and just because their President used to work for the World Bank and also worked for the Obama administration… wait a minute…
2. The Section
The Guardian’s “Global development professionals network” was first launched in 2012. It is subsidiary to their “Global Development website”, which was launched a year earlier. Their purpose, to quote their own description, is to provide:
A space for NGOs, aid workers and development professionals to share knowledge and expertise
It is, to read between the words of that sentence, a space for the Guardian to publish opinion pieces and press releases from US and UK government-backed NGOs, whilst taking no direct editorial responsibility for this blatant issuing of propaganda. It is much the same as the New East Network in this regard.
In case you were wondering where they get their funding for this:
Like the main Guardian global development website, the professional network is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as by a range of sponsors.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is on the list of predictable names I referenced at the beginning of this article. Wherever there is creepy Orwellian propaganda pushing for odd social controls in the name of “justice” (be it common core education, or remote control contraception) you will find Bill and Melinda Gates. The foundation is also, of course, a corrupt tax dodge.
Now, you might be worried about the impartiality of a newspaper that is part-funded by the richest man that has ever existed, and other (unnamed) “sponsors”, but don’t be concerned because:
All our journalism remains independent of sponsorship and follows GNM’s published editorial code.
Any content produced by, or in partnership with our funding partners, will be clearly labelled.
So that’s alright then.
3. The Sponsor
Here we come to the worst part. The part that, only two years ago, would have shocked me. The article was apparently “supported by” a private corporation: Crown Agents, who describe themselves thus:
We are an international development company that partners with governments, aid agencies, NGOs and companies in nearly 100 countries. Taking on clients’ fundamental challenges, we make lasting change to the systems and organisations that are vital for people’s well-being and prosperity.
We bring an agile and resourceful approach to complex development issues.
Which, when translated from neo-liberal BS language into actual English, means they act as a bridgehead in allowing corporations to move into third world countries and make a fortune by buying up public assets from corrupt or incompetent governments. Take a look at their latest projects for proof. When they’re not helping the Americans privatize Pakistan’s state assets, they’re “facilitating” Ukraine’s joining of the WTO. Interestingly they also enjoyed a very large contract for “rebuilding” peace in Libya.
They are all over the so-called developing world, “boosting revenues”, “fighting corruption” and “reforming financial practices”. They do all this in cooperation with their partners at the US government, the UK government and certain (unnamed) “private foundations.”
To be very clear about this – Crown Agents is NOT an NGO. They are not a charity, or an aid organisation, or a barely-there disguise of some alphabet agency. They are a private business, they make money, they are FOR PROFIT.
The same company which made money off the aftermath of the Libyan war, is now sponsoring an article calling for war in Syria. It is an undeclared agenda, a classic conflict of interest, and totally disgusting. That it takes place in a supposedly “liberal paper”, with supposedly “progressive values”, in the name of charity and humanitarianism, is the height of modern hypocrisy.
The Guardian is selling space in their paper to for-profit companies, who publish pro-war opinion pieces, trying to incite public support for a war that will make them money.
That would have been shocking once upon a time.
Time’s up, so-called Professor Wadhams.
It is now exactly four years ago that you forecast the demise of Arctic sea ice this summer:
One of the world’s leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years.
In what he calls a “global disaster” now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for “urgent” consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.
In an email to the Guardian he says: “Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward.”
So, what does the Arctic actually look like now?
Of course, this was not the first time you made a fool of yourself, was it? At various times in the last few years, you have issued many predictions of ice free Arctics by 2013, and then 2015.
Even as recently as June this year, you were still forecasting:
“The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years”
Be honest. You are not actually very good at your job, are you?
The folks who make their living by hyping the supposed threat of runaway global warming use a lot of scary language in the process. Here the ever creative New York Times has set what may be a new standard in scary climate change hype, by tying it to the Zika outbreak.
In our Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-induced Biases we point to the press exaggerating unproven scientific hypotheses that support government policies. Policies that depend on scaring people are especially subject to this kind of press bias. The NYT has provided a fine example of this sort of scientific distortion, one that is worth analyzing to see just how the game is played. Not surprisingly, they do this in what they call a “Science” article.
It begins with this ever so scary headline:
Zika itself is pretty scary, so that sets the stage. They then combine this with “epidemic” and “a Warning on Climate Change.” So instead of unsubstantiated possibilities we now have warnings and threats. This is a rhetorical flourish that we have not seen before, especially warnings.
Note that most people will only read this headline, which contains no science whatsoever. They will be told, falsely, that the Zika outbreak is a warning of a supposed climate change threat.
Beyond the scary headline, the article itself is a study in rhetorical structure. It begins with innuendo and ends with standard speculation, but in between it manages to provide some solid science regarding several mosquito borne diseases. The latter is to the effect that these various disease outbreaks and increases are likely due to increased urbanization. You would never guess this from the headline or the first paragraph, which uses a question to make an accusation, a classic form of innuendo:
“The global public health emergency involving deformed babies emerged in 2015, the hottest year in the historical record, with an outbreak in Brazil of a disease transmitted by heat-loving mosquitoes. Can that be a coincidence?”
The answer turns out to be probably, but it takes a lot of reading to realize this. Even worse, the article simply assumes that there will be extensive future warming, all due to human emissions. None of this is known to be true, or even likely. In fact this is a standard rhetorical set piece. Assume great human-induced global warming and prophesy the worst.
Not surprisingly the key prophesying quotation comes from an activist-scientist at the National Science Foundation-funded Nation Center for Atmospheric Research. NSF is the Obama Administration’s leading proponent of the unconfirmed hypothesis that human emissions are creating dangerous global warming. NCAR has even issued a Zika forecast for 50 US cities, based as usual on an unverified computer model.
We also get a juicy quote from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which assumes that a warmer and wetter world lies ahead. What happened to those pesky droughts?
They even throw in a picture of a sick baby and a Brazilian with dengue (not Zika). In our view tying this hyperbolic “climate change threat” rhetoric to the real misery created by Zika and related diseases is simply despicable.
Manipulation of public perception has risen to a new level with the emergence of powerful social media. Facebook, Twitter and Google are multibillion dollar corporate giants hugely influencing public understanding. Social media campaigns include paid ‘boosting’ of Facebook posts, paid promotion of Tweets, and biased results from search engines. Marketing and advertising companies use social media to promote their clients. U.S. foreign policy managers hire these companies to influence public perception to support U.S. foreign policy goals. For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made sure that Twitter was primed for street protests in Iran following the 2009 election. She insured that Twitter was ready to spread and manage news of protests following the election and strange killing of a young woman. (p 423, Hard Choices hardback).
The results of media manipulation can be seen in the widespread misunderstanding of the conflict in Syria. One element of propaganda around Syria is the demonization of the Syrian government and leadership. Influenced by the mainstream and much alternative media, most in the West do not know that Bashar al Assad is popular with most Syrians. There were three contestants in the Syrian presidential election of June 2014. Turnout was 73% of the registered voters, with 88% voting for Assad. In Beirut, the streets were clogged with tens of thousands of Syrian refugees marching through the city to vote at the Syrian Embassy. Hundreds of Syrian citizens from the USA and other western countries flew to Syria to vote because Syrian Embassies in Washington and other western capitals were shut down. While John Kerry was condemning the Syrian election as a “farce” before it had even happened, a marketing company known as The Syria Campaign waged a campaign to block knowledge of the Syrian election. Along with demonizing President Assad, they launched a campaign which led to Facebook censoring information about the Syrian election.
The Syria Campaign was created by a larger company named “Purpose”. According to their own website they “incubated” The Syria Campaign.
The major achievement of The Syria Campaign has been the branding and promotion of the “White Helmets”. The “White Helmets”, also known as “Syria Civil Defense”, began with a British military contractor, James LeMesurier, giving some rescue training to Syrians in Turkey. Funding was provided by the US and UK. They appropriated the name from a real Syria Civil Defense.
The “White Helmets” are marketed in the West as civilian volunteers doing rescue work. On 22 September 2016 it was announced that the Right Livelihood Award, the so called “Alternative Nobel Prize”, is being given to the US/UK created White Helmets “for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war.”
The Right Livelihood organizers may come to regret their selection of the White Helmets because the group is not who they claim to be. In fact, the White Helmets are largely a propaganda tool promoting western intervention against Syria. Unlike a legitimate rescue organization such as the Red Cross or Red Crescent, the “White Helmets” only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition. As shown in this video, the White Helmets pick up the bodies of individuals executed by the terrorists, they claim to be unarmed but are not, and they falsely claim to be neutral. Many of the videos from AlQaeda/terrorist dominated areas of Syria have the “White Helmets” logo because the White Helmets work in alliance with them. This primarily is a media marketing tool to raise public support for continuing the support to the armed opposition as well as the demonization of the Syrian government.
The Rights Livelihood press release says the White Helmets “remain outspoken in calling for an end to hostilities in the country.” That is false. The White Helmets actively call for US/NATO intervention through a “No Fly Zone” which would begin with attacks and destruction of anti-aircraft positions. Taking over the skies above another country is an act of war as confirmed by US General Dempsey. The White Helmets have never criticized or called for the end of funding to extremist organizations including Nusra/AlQaeda. On the contrary, White Helmets is generally embedded with this organization which is defined as “terrorist” by even the USA. That is likely why the head of the White Helmets, Raed Saleh, was denied entry to the USA.
The foreign and marketing company origins of the White Helmets was exposed over one and a half years ago. Since then, Vanessa Beeley has revealed the organization in more depth in articles such as “Who Are the White Helmets?” and “War by Way of Deception“.
Despite these exposes, understanding of the White Helmets is limited. Many liberal and progressive people have uncritically accepted the propaganda and misinformation around Syria. Much of the progressive media has effectively blocked or censored critical examinations amid a flood of propaganda about “barrel bombs” dropped by the ‘brutal dictator” and his “regime”.
In the last week, Netflix started showing a 40 minute documentary movie about the “White Helmets”. It is actually a promotion video. A substantial portion of it takes place in Turkey where we see trainees in hotel rooms making impassioned phone calls to inquire about their family in Syria. The “family values” theme is evident throughout. It’s a good marketing angle, especially effective with females. The political message of the video is also clear: after a bombing attack “It’s the Russians …. they say they are fighting ISIS but they are targeting civilians”. The movie includes video previously promoted by the White Helmets such as the “Miracle Baby” rescue. It’s debatable whether this incident is real or staged. The video includes self promoting proclamations such as “You are real heroes”. While no doubt there are some real rescues in the midst of war, many of the videos purporting to show the heroes at work have an unrealistic and contrived look to them as revealed here.
“Alternative media” in the West has sadly echoed mainstream media regarding the Syria conflict. The result is that many progressive individuals and groups are confused or worse. For example, the activist group CodePink recently issued a media release promoting the Netflix White Helmets propaganda video.
The White Helmets video is produced by Grain Media and Violet Films/Ultra-Violet Consulting. The latter advertises itself as a marketing corporation specializing in social media management, grant writing, crowd building and campaign implementation. The only question is who paid them to produce this video.
There is growing resistance to this manipulation and deception. In response to a petition to give the Nobel Peace Prize to the White Helmets, there is a counter petition at Change.org. The Right Livelihood Awards have just been announced and there will soon be a petition demanding retraction of the award to the White Helmets.
The story of the White Helmets is principally a “feel good” hoax to manipulate public perception about the conflict in Syria and continue the drive for “regime change”. That’s why big money was paid to “Purpose” to “incubate” The Syria Campaign to brand and promote the White Helmets using Facebook, Twitter, etc. That’s why big money was paid to create a self-promotional documentary. The judges at Rights Livelihood were probably influenced by the documentary since critical examination of facts around Syria is so rare. It’s a sad commentary on the media. As Stephen Kinzer recently said,
“Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press.”
Rick Sterling is a retired aerospace engineer who now does research/writing on international issues. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Excerpted from the just released book War Is Never Just.
World War II is often called “the good war,” and has been since the U.S. war on Vietnam to which it was then contrasted. World War II so dominates U.S. and therefore Western entertainment and education, that “good” often comes to mean something more than “just.” The winner of the “Miss Italy” beauty pageant earlier this year got herself into a bit of a scandal by declaring that she would have liked to live through World War II. While she was mocked, she was clearly not alone. Many would like to be part of something widely depicted as noble, heroic, and exciting. Should they actually find a time machine, I recommend they read the statements of some actual WWII veterans and survivors before they head back to join the fun.[i] For purposes of this book, however, I am going to look only at the claim that WWII was morally just.
No matter how many years one writes books, does interviews, publishes columns, and speaks at events, it remains virtually impossible to make it out the door of an event in the United States at which you’ve advocated abolishing war without somebody hitting you with the what-about-the-good-war question. This belief that there was a good war 75 years ago is a large part of what moves the U.S. public to tolerate dumping a trillion dollars a year into preparing in case there’s a good war next year,[ii] even in the face of so many dozens of wars during the past 70 years on which there’s general consensus that they were not good. Without rich, well-established myths about World War II, current propaganda about Russia or Syria or Iraq or China would sound as crazy to most people as it sounds to me. And of course the funding generated by the Good War legend leads to more bad wars, rather than preventing them. I’ve written on this topic at great length in many articles and books, especially War Is A Lie.[iii] But I’ll offer here a few key points that ought to at least place a few seeds of doubt in the minds of most U.S. supporters of WWII as a Just War.
Mark Allman and Tobias Winright, the “Just War” authors discussed in previous chapters, are not very forthcoming with their list of Just Wars, but they do mention in passing numerous unjust elements of the U.S. role in WWII, including U.S. and U.K. efforts to wipe out the populations of German cities[iv] and the insistence on unconditional surrenders.[v] However, they also suggest that they may believe this war was justly engaged in, unjustly conducted, and justly followed through on via the Marshall Plan, etc.[vi] I’m not sure Germany’s role as host of U.S. troops, weapons, and communications stations, and as collaborator in unjust U.S. wars over the years is included in the calculation.
Here are what I think of as the top 12 reasons the Good War wasn’t good/just.
- World War II could not have happened without World War I, without the stupid manner of starting World War I and the even stupider manner of ending World War I which led numerous wise people to predict World War II on the spot, or without Wall Street’s funding of Nazi Germany for decades (as preferable to communists), or without the arms race and numerous bad decisions that do not need to be repeated in the future.
- The U.S. government was not hit with a surprise attack. President Franklin Roosevelt had quietly promised Churchill that the United States would work hard to provoke Japan into staging an attack. FDR knew the attack was coming, and initially drafted a declaration of war against both Germany and Japan on the evening of Pearl Harbor. Prior to Pearl Harbor, FDR had built up bases in the U.S. and multiple oceans, traded weapons to the Brits for bases, started the draft, created a list of every Japanese American person in the country, provided planes, trainers, and pilots to China, imposed harsh sanctions on Japan, and advised the U.S. military that a war with Japan was beginning. He told his top advisers he expected an attack on December 1st, which was six days off. Here’s an entry in Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s diary following a November 25, 1941, White House meeting: “The President said the Japanese were notorious for making an attack without warning and stated that we might be attacked, say next Monday, for example.”
- The war was not humanitarian and was not even marketed as such until after it was over. There was no poster asking you to help Uncle Sam save the Jews. A ship of Jewish refugees from Germany was chased away from Miami by the Coast Guard. The U.S. and other nations refused to accept Jewish refugees, and the majority of the U.S. public supported that position. Peace groups that questioned Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his foreign secretary about shipping Jews out of Germany to save them were told that, while Hitler might very well agree to the plan, it would be too much trouble and require too many ships. The U.S. engaged in no diplomatic or military effort to save the victims in the Nazi concentration camps. Anne Frank was denied a U.S. visa. Although this point has nothing to do with a serious historian’s case for WWII as a Just War, it is so central to U.S. mythology that I’ll include here a key passage from Nicholson Baker:
“Anthony Eden, Britain’s foreign secretary, who’d been tasked by Churchill with handling queries about refugees, dealt coldly with one of many important delegations, saying that any diplomatic effort to obtain the release of the Jews from Hitler was ‘fantastically impossible.’ On a trip to the United States, Eden candidly told Cordell Hull, the secretary of state, that the real difficulty with asking Hitler for the Jews was that ‘Hitler might well take us up on any such offer, and there simply are not enough ships and means of transportation in the world to handle them.’ Churchill agreed. ‘Even were we to obtain permission to withdraw all the Jews,’ he wrote in reply to one pleading letter, ‘transport alone presents a problem which will be difficult of solution.’ Not enough shipping and transport? Two years earlier, the British had evacuated nearly 340,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk in just nine days. The U.S. Air Force had many thousands of new planes. During even a brief armistice, the Allies could have airlifted and transported refugees in very large numbers out of the German sphere.”[vii]
Perhaps it does go to the question of “Right Intention” that the “good” side of the war simply did not give a damn about what would become the central example of the badness of the “bad” side of the war.
- The war was not defensive. FDR lied that he had a map of Nazi plans to carve up South America, that he had a Nazi plan to eliminate religion, that U.S. ships (covertly assisting British war planes) were innocently attacked by Nazis, that Germany was a threat to the United States.[viii] A case can be made that the U.S. needed to enter the war in Europe to defend other nations, which had entered to defend yet other nations, but a case could also be made that the U.S. escalated the targeting of civilians, extended the war, and inflicted more damage than might have occurred, had the U.S. done nothing, attempted diplomacy, or invested in nonviolence. To claim that a Nazi empire could have grown to someday include an occupation of the United States is wildly far fetched and not borne out by any earlier or later examples from other wars.
- We now know much more widely and with much more data that nonviolent resistance to occupation and injustice is more likely to succeed—and that success more likely to last—than violent resistance. With this knowledge, we can look back at the stunning successes of nonviolent actions against the Nazis that were not well organized or built on beyond their initial successes.[ix]
- The Good War was not good for the troops. Lacking intense modern training and psychological conditioning to prepare soldiers to engage in the unnatural act of murder, some 80 percent of U.S. and other troops in World War II did not fire their weapons at “the enemy.”[x] The fact that veterans of WWII were treated better after the war than other soldiers before or since, was the result of the pressure created by the Bonus Army after the previous war. That veterans were given free college, healthcare, and pensions was not due to the merits of the war or in some way a result of the war. Without the war, everyone could have been given free college for many years. If we provided free college to everyone today, it would then require much more than Hollywoodized World War II stories to get many people into military recruiting stations.
- Several times the number of people killed in German camps were killed outside of them in the war. The majority of those people were civilians. The scale of the killing, wounding, and destroying made WWII the single worst thing humanity has ever done to itself in a short space of time. We imagine the allies were somehow “opposed” to the far lesser killing in the camps. But that can’t justify the cure that was worse than the disease.
- Escalating the war to include the all-out destruction of civilians and cities, culminating in the completely indefensible nuking of cities took WWII out of the realm of defensible projects for many who had defended its initiation—and rightly so. Demanding unconditional surrender and seeking to maximize death and suffering did immense damage and left a grim and foreboding legacy.
- Killing huge numbers of people is supposedly defensible for the “good” side in a war, but not for the “bad” side. The distinction between the two is never as stark as fantasized. The United States had a long history as an apartheid state. U.S. traditions of oppressing African Americans, practicing genocide against Native Americans, and now interning Japanese Americans also gave rise to specific programs that inspired Germany’s Nazis—these included camps for Native Americans, and programs of eugenics and human experimentation that existed before, during, and after the war. One of these programs included giving syphilis to people in Guatemala at the same time the Nuremberg trials were taking place.[xi] The U.S. military hired hundreds of top Nazis at the end of the war; they fit right in.[xii] The U.S. aimed for a wider world empire, before the war, during it, and ever since. German neo-Nazis today, forbidden to wave the Nazi flag, sometimes wave the flag of the Confederate States of America instead.
- The “good” side of the “good war,” the party that did most of the killing and dying for the winning side, was the communist Soviet Union. That doesn’t make the war a triumph for communism, but it does tarnish Washington’s and Hollywood’s tales of triumph for “democracy.”[xiii]
- World War II still hasn’t ended. Ordinary people in the United States didn’t have their incomes taxed until World War II and that’s never stopped. It was supposed to be temporary.[xiv] WWII-era bases built around the world have never closed. U.S. troops have never left Germany or Japan.[xv] There are more than 100,000 U.S. and British bombs still in the ground in Germany, still killing.[xvi]
- Going back 75 years to a nuclear-free, colonial world of completely different structures, laws, and habits to justify what has been the greatest expense of the United States in each of the years since is a bizarre feat of self-deception that isn’t attempted in the justification of any lesser enterprise. Assume I’ve got numbers 1 through 11 totally wrong, and you’ve still got to explain how an event from the early 1940s justifies dumping a trillion 2017 dollars into war funding that could have been spent to feed, clothe, cure, and shelter millions of people, and to environmentally protect the earth.
[i] Studs Terkel, The Good War: An Oral History of World War II (The New Press: 1997).
[ii] Chris Hellman, TomDispatch, “$1.2 Trillion for National Security,” March 1, 2011, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175361
[iii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).
[iv] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 46.
[v] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 14.
[vi] Mark J. Allman & Tobias L. Winright, After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 2010) p. 97.
[vii] War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing, edited by Lawrence Rosendwald.
[viii] David Swanson, War Is A Lie, Second Edition (Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2016).
[ix] Book and Film: A Force More Powerful, http://aforcemorepowerful.org
[x] Dave Grossman, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Back Bay Books: 1996).
[xi] Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times, “U.S. Apologizes for Syphilis Tests in Guatemala,” October 1, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/health/research/02infect.html
[xii] Annie Jacobsen, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America (Little, Brown and Company, 2014).
[xiii] Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, The Untold History of the United States (Gallery Books, 2013).
[xiv] Steven A. Bank, Kirk J. Stark, and Joseph J. Thorndike, War and Taxes (Urban Institute Press, 2008).
[xv] RootsAction.org, “Move Away from Nonstop War. Close the Ramstein Air Base,” http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12254
[xvi] David Swanson, “The United States Just Bombed Germany,” http://davidswanson.org/node/5134
In recent days I discovered that the Canadian branch of the Israeli-US-based Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith is reporting that I am “well known for using academic credentials to deny the Holocaust.” On August 29, Daniel Leons-Marder mirrored the Canadian B’nai Brith report under the title, Facebook Allows “Kill All Jews” Post on Wall of Canadian Professor. In an item Leons-Marder claims has been shared 11,000 times, he asserted “B’nai Brith Canada reported the image, which was ruled acceptable [by Facebook] within two hours, when it was alerted to it having been posted on the Facebook page of Canadian Academic Professor Anthony Hall, who is a holocaust denier.”
The B’nai Brith’s Aug. 29 announcement starts with a bald statement that “Police have launched an investigation into an antisemitic Facebook post that was exposed by B’nai Brith Canada last Friday.” The earlier August 26 statement emphasized the role of Facebook, introducing me in the controversy as being “well known for using [my] academic credentials to deny the Holocaust and promote 9/11 conspiracy theories.”
Under the headline, “Killing Jews Is Now an Acceptable Message, Facebook Says,” the B’nai Brith announced,
“Antisemitism in all forms is rampant on social media, but this is the clearest, most obvious kind of antisemitism one could possibly create,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith CEO. “The classification of this as antisemitic cannot be challenged, and the fact that this promotes violence towards Jews is beyond dispute. Regardless, Facebook has deemed it acceptable despite its ‘community standards’ containing clear provisions against hate speech. The Jewish community deserves no less protection or respect than any other when it comes to hate speech and threats of violence.”
“Every year, upon publication of our Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, a contingent of detractors accuses us of saying the sky is falling, and that antisemitism does not exist in Canada,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. “Content like this is proof positive that not only antisemitism of a genocidal nature exists in Canada, but the systems that are supposed to protect us from racist hate speech don’t consider hatred of Jews to be problematic.”
B’nai Brith has reported the post to Lethbridge Police Services.
The Canadian B’nai Brith’s post, together with those of others that have mirrored B’nai Brith’s announcement, constitute the first time I have seen myself described in print as a ‘holocaust denier.” What is the definition used by the thought police to decide who is or is not a “holocaust denier? Are there many holocausts or only one? Who owns the term, “holocaust?” If there are exclusive rights, how were they obtained?
In the eyes of the B’nai Brith, is a “holocaust denier” anyone who disagrees with any element, large or small, of its favored historical interpretation? Is the B’nai Brith naturally hostile to anyone that retains independent, evidence-based perspectives on some of the most fraught issues of historical interpretation in contemporary times?
What is behind the creation of the original post that set the controversy in motion? Who created it and why? Is this whole episode an engineered crisis? Is one of its purposes to fend off the criticisms of those that accuse the B’nai Brith and related Zionist agencies of claiming “the sky is falling” with their Orwellian system of Annual Audits of Antisemitic Incidents. Please see below the map published to present cartographic interpretations by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.
As shall be explained below, the B’nai Brith has failed to perform due diligence in its handling of this matter. Its officers did not even attempt back up their provocative characterizations of me with even a shred of genuine evidence. The organization opted instead to exploit for its own political agenda the shock value inherent in the vile contents of an item allegedly posted, apparently very briefly, on my FB page. The item is said to have been posted by Glen Davidson. I did not ever see it on my FB page. I did not invite nor did I even have any knowledge of it until recently.
In its material the B’nai Brith describe the post as a “depiction of a White man assaulting an Orthodox Jew accompanied by a lengthy, violent anti-Semitic screed beside the photograph.” Here is the post, which I first saw sometime early in September as part of a smear piece published about me at “Aussie Dave’s” Israellycool.
To reiterate and to be absolutely clear, I did not post this social media item myself. I did not create it or solicit it. I do not approve of its contents. In fact I of course strongly condemn the message conveyed in both the image and the text. Due diligence demands, however, that I look further into this matter.
The B’nai Brith in Action
My initial research into the item’s content is leading me to the opinion that the image probably emerges from some sort of staged situation, one that seems to include the application of photo shop techniques. The most basic questions that must now be pressed concern the source of the atrocious text. From whence does it originate? Certainly I did not write it. Glen Davidson did not write it. Who did write it and why? Not once yet have I seen this deeper question posed by those who are exploiting the vile item to dramatize a real or concocted dispute with Facebook.
Quite possibly by design, the miniscule, densely compressed text is very difficult to read especially on small digital devices. Could this attribute be because the text was conceived not as a means of winning adherents but rather as a justification for political actions like the B’nai Brith’s current hate speech campaign highlighting my academic position at the University of Lethbridge?
I first saw the item among a number of screen shots all dedicated to “Aussie Dave’s” nomination of me as “Anti-Zionist-Not-Anti-Semite of the Day.”
I remember being particular interested in the part of the post that mentioned Ryan Bellerose, a Metis man and convert to Judaism who has recently been hired as the B’nai Brith’s new Western Canadian representative. Most of my attention zeroed in on Aussie Dave’s suggestion to his readers that they communications to the president of my University, Dr. Mike Mahon. I also took note of a screen shot of an item on U of L letterhead where Dr. Mahon responds to “JP.” Who is “JP”?
I can trace one thread of this matter’s origins to a recorded telephone call I listened to a year ago. Its source was Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights. In August of 2015 Ms. Hohmann telephoned the manager of a community venue in downtown Edmonton Alberta. Ms. Hohmann aim on behalf of her employer was to shut down a book promotion event. At the time Dr. Barrett along with his wife, two sons a dog and me were touring Alberta to call attention to an edited text entitled We Are Not Charlie Hebdo. Dr. Barrett edited the volume to which I had contributed an article.
The venue’s manager, Richard Awid, taped Ms. Hohmann’s intervention and subsequently played it back for me. Here is how I described this part of the episode in an article entitled “B’nai Brith Moves to Quash Free Speech in Canada,”
Mr. Awid was somewhat dumbfounded that a small event at his community hall, “one of 100 such venues in Edmonton,” would elicit such an intense response from a very powerful organization in Toronto. He played back to me on his answering machine a recorded message he received at about 9 am on August 12 from Amanda Hohmann. Ms. Hohmann explained that she had received “a few complaints” about “Mr.” Kevin Barrett on the B’nai Brith’s “anti-hate hotline.” (1-416-633-6224; 1-800-892-2624)
Ms. Hohmann asserted that
“Mr. Barrett is a known anti-semite conspiracy theorist, a Holocaust Denier, and 9/11 Denier and all sorts of other things.”
Ms. Hohmann made no effort whatsoever to give background proof of her allegations or to identify the sources of the supposed “complaints.” Nevertheless she proposed to Mr. Awid that he should “cancel the event and let Mr. Barrett know he is not welcome in Edmonton.”
In this telephone call the B’nai Brith’s “human rights” director tried to defame a colleague offering absolutely no proof whatsoever to provide evidentiary backing for her directive from Toronto that Dr. Barrett should not be welcome in Alberta’s capital. I believe the Western world currently supports many Amanda Hohmanns paid very well to target and slander regularly individuals like Dr. Kevin Barrett.
Are the protagonists in these ugly witch hunts ever held accountable for the excesses? Are there any constraints on the increasingly severe incursions of the Zionist thought police? What remedies are or are not available for the likes of Dr. Barrett who is a Muslim man. Along with the rest of the omma, Dr. Barrett and his family are regularly subjected to heavy doses of “hate speech” and sometimes worse?
When Richard Awid, a Muslim himself, did not adhere to Ms. Hohmann’s instructions, the B’nai Brith was able to send in a representative of the “hate speech” unit of the Edmonton police. The officer monitored the first part of the event and then left after informing Dr. Barrett that our presentation deemed was not to be hate speech by the police force he represented. I recall wondering at the time, does that bizarre episode foreshadow an era when all university classes will be policed by officials answerable to agencies like the B’nai Brith? Is that where this is leading?
The B’nai Brith has been front and center in Canada’s increasingly notorious record of aggressively policing citizens for supposed thought crimes and speech crimes. The B’nai Brith’s assault on free speech in Canada includes among its objects for criminalization Doug Collins, Malcolm Ross, Jim Keegstra, Ernst Zundel, Terry Tremaine, David Ahenakew and, most recently, Arthur Topham.
The case against Arthur Topham and his Radical Press is still ongoing. By following at a distance the tawdry prosecution of the self-employed reporter, publisher, editor and carpenter in Quesnel British Columbia, I was made aware of a very significant text published in 1941. Theodore Kaufman’s Germany Must Perish outlines an extremely ruthless strategy of genocidal destruction of a whole people. Has this classic description of genocidal intent and methodology been ever given prominence in a school curriculum in Canada?
My reading of an Internet copy of the text, one that became integral to the proceedings of the Topham trial, caused me to reflect on how one-sided the whole discourse on genocide is becoming. The suffering of one group is highlighted and elevated above all others while the suffering and assaults imposed on other groups is often downplayed, ignored or even denigrated. I had no idea before the B’nai Brith-instigated prosecution of Arthur Topham that there was such a detailed plan to annihilate the entire German people.
I only recently have become fully aware of the extent of the murder, rape and pillage of several millions of Germans after 1945 in American prisoner war camps and in orgies of Soviet-instigated ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe. Where are the museums to promote public education about these crimes against humanity? Where is the museum to commemorate the horrendous intergenerational genocide of perhaps a hundred million Indigenous peoples in the Holocaust of the Americas since 1492? Will future You Tubers make videos to ask elderly members of today’s generation what they did or didn’t do about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians now underway in order to clear the way for Greater Israel?
Thought Police Wreaking Havoc on Campus
The B’nai Brith is becoming especially aggressive in campaigns to have individuals fired from their work for expounding historical interpretations it does not like. The B’nai Brith boasted menacingly on September 15 of having destroyed the career of Nikolas Balakas, a long-serving lab technician at York University’s Department of Astronomy and Physics. The announcement that Canada’s most ruthless thought police agency had succeeded in its campaign to get York University to fire its employee was written by Aidan Fishman. Mr. Fishman is Campus Advocacy Coordinator of B’nai Brith Canada.
After counting coup on Mr. Balaras’s dismissal, Mr. Fishman concludes with the following plea that the University of Lethbridge should follow York University’s example. The B’nai Brith official wrote,
“Unfortunately not every administration is prepared to act with such decisiveness [as that of York University], as the ongoing saga surrounding Professor Anthony Hall at Lethbridge University shows. I hope that the administration in Lethbridge can use the excellent example set by York University on this matter, and take appropriate steps to ensure that their students are not similarly subjected to hatred and antisemitism on campus.”
Who is the real author of this “ongoing saga?” Where is the proof as of today that University of Lethbridge students are being subjected “to hatred and anti-Semitism on campus.” I have not once seen this kind of language appear in 26 years of teaching evaluations. Where is there any accountability for floating this kind of vicious agenda of smear? The intrusion into this matter of a B’nai Brith official described as Campus Advocacy Coordinator is, as far as I know, setting precedents at my school. What is the nature of the “advocacy” Mr. Fishman is “coordinating”?
The effort of B’nai Brith’s “campus coordinator” and possibly others of his group to inject themselves into the internal governance of the University of Lethbridge brings to mind a similar controversy brewing at Oberlin College. Oberlin College is a renowned Liberal Arts school in Ohio whose origins long predate the American Civil War. There Dr. Joy Karega has been suspended with pay from her teaching position as a result of a controversy also involving Facebook posts. I have written a lengthy open latter on the matter to Oberlin President, Dr. Marvin Krislov. The text, which has been mirrored on other web sites, was first published at American Herald Tribune.
In my effort to reach out to President Krislov, Dr. Karega and the other students and faculty involved in what has definitely become a fiasco for the Oberlin community, I proposed in my open letter that we all work together to mount a joint academic conference. I proposed that my own Liberal Education program at the University of Lethbridge ally itself with the embattled Liberal Arts College in Ohio to organize an event aimed at bringing thoughtful academic commentary to address a mounting crisis in higher education in North America.
I hereby invite Aiden Fishman to join this initiative and thereby embark on a constructive course rather than the trajectory of negativity implicit in his present preoccupation with hate talk and advocacy for division. Of course Mr. Fishman is far from alone in the type of “advocacy” in which he is engaged. There is a barrage of interventions currently underway from organizations like the AMCHA Initiative, the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Campus Outreach, Hillel, the American Jewish Congress, David Horowitz’s FrontPage and Daniel Pipes’ Campus Watch to mention only a few. As currently on full public display at Oberlin College, these well-funded and deeply staffed interventions invariably wreak havoc on the principles of academic freedom and civil academic discourse on campus?
I suggested the following title for the event.
Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories:
A Rational or Irrational Phrase in Academic Discourse?
In my research research into the Joy Karega/Oberlin debacle I became aware of the concerted campaign in 2014 to destroy the career of Prof. William I. Robinson. Dr. Robinson is Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Like Dr. Joy Karega, Dr. Steven Salaita, Dr. Hatem Bazian, Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Dr. Richard Falk, me and many others, Dr. Robinson includes in the curriculum some focus on the plight of Palestinian people.
Caption: Prof. Richard Falk, Former UN Rapporteur and Princeton University Professor of International Law, Speaks on the Issue of Academic Freedom at the University of California at Santa Barbara
The sociologist refused to back down from incorporating in his teaching critical perspectives on the harsh treatment of Palestinians especially in Gaza and the so-called Occupied Territories. Amidst proliferating Jewish settlements and the constant repressions of the Israeli police state, many Palestinians continue to eke out marginal existences on the heavily militarized lands set aside for them by the United Nations in Resolution 181. Resolution 181, an international instrument calling for partition of Palestine and UN trusteeship over Jerusalem, constitutes the primary law at the roots of the Israeli entity in its present form.
Prof. Robinson has written of his ordeal in August of 2014 on Truthout. In an article entitled “Repression Escalates on US Campuses,” the sociologist explains,
The persecution to which I was subjected involved a litany of harassment, slander, defamation of character and all kinds of threats against the university by outside forces if I was not dismissed, as well as hate mail and death threats from unknown sources. More insidiously, it involved a shameful collaboration between a number of university officials and outside forces from the Israel lobby as the university administration stood by silently, making a mockery of academic freedom.
The disciplinary procedure initiated against me by UCSB officials involved a host of irregularities, violations of the university’s own procedures, breaches of confidentiality, denial of due process, conflicts of interest, failure of disclosure, improper political surveillance, abuses of power and position, unwarranted interference in curriculum and teaching and so on. As I would discover during the course of the ordeal, individuals inside the university and in positions of authority had linked up with agents of the lobby outside the university in setting out to prosecute me.
Will the same toolbox of wrecking instruments deployed at the University of California be shipped in from the United States and unpacked at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada? Will the administration of my own school continue to uphold the University of Lethbridge’s good reputation as an institution of higher education where the vital principles of academic freedom and civil academic discourse are expressed and defended?
On several occasions I have publicly lauded the U of L for creating an environment of academic freedom. I made this observation, for instance, at the University of Lethbridge’s book event when in 2011 my volume, Earth into Property, was launched. In this 900+ page peer-reviewed academic text published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, I incorporate analysis that the B’nai Brith flippantly trivializes as “9/11 conspiracy theories.”
Deeply corrupt agencies like the B’nai Brith have a lot to lose when the basic facts about what really happened on 9/11–who did what to whom—become the common knowledge of the general public. That day may be approaching far faster than those hiding behind the tired old memes about “conspiracy theories” anticipate.
How much longer can the evidence of 9/11 be concealed behind the ruthless kind of ad hominem attacks that have become the well known-specialty of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in all its many constituent parts? How much longer will the public tolerate the hate propaganda and professional assaults that are obliterating the fundamental integrity of so many of our most important institutions?
What other lies and deceptions are being fed to the public on a regular basis? What is the level of public confidence these days in the trustworthiness of society’s key institutions including government, media, police and agencies of higher education? Who can say public confidence in these entities is high?
What is the appropriate role for universities in addressing issues of officialdom’s fraud and malfeasance especially in situations that have large implications for public policy? If even tenured university faculty can be intimidated into shying away from the professional responsibility to distinguish truth from falsehood, but especially in situations that threaten power’s imperatives, who will perform this vital function? Politicians? Talking heads on TV? Who will speak truth to the unaccountable power that the B’nai Brith in its current reckless demeanor so abundantly epitomizes?
Ritual Defamation in the Social Media Circus
To return to the Facebook post that lies at the root of this controversy, I have already publicly condemned the contents of the offending item in the September 16 edition of False Flag Weekly News. I currently co-host this regular broadcast along with one of its founding partners, Dr. Kevin Barrett.
I noticed a reference to my public condemnation of the item in question in the comments section of the B’nai Brith’s own web post of August 29. A commenter going by the name of Andrew Blair observes,
It is important to realize that Professor Hall publicly condemns that image and text. Go to False Flag Weekly, at minute 36, to see and hear his denunciation.When I put on my “fairness” glasses and look at that image I see Tony Hall in the headlock, and the arms locking his head are the image and the text. Does anyone else see that, or are my “fairness” glasses defective?
“Andrew Blair’s” question certainly resonates with me. The B’nai Brith’s description of the image in its news announcements refers to “a White man assaulting an Orthodox Jew.” Is the Orthodox Jew not a White man too? What is there to say that the aggressor in this image is not Cherokee or Mohawk or Palestinian for that matter?
What are the politics of the B’nai Brith’s choice of words in its racialized approach to its public announcement highlighting this inflammatory image? What effect is being sought? Did the image emerge from a real or staged situation? If it was the former, what was the event? Where did it happen? Who took the photograph? Have the investigators in the B’nai Brith-police-hate-crime-complex explored such matters.
Is the B’nai Brith’s emphasis on “police investigations” itself a staged tactic of sorts? Is it meant to dramatize the main story line aimed ultimately at seizing control of strategic instruments of Internet communication. The subplot, which is certainly intended to harm me personally and professionally, is that crazed and genocidal anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists– even “holocaust deniers”— are running around loose with full Internet access even in Lethbridge Alberta?
My own best assessment is that the offending social media item seems likely to have been produced by photo shop juxtapositions of different images. The “White man’s” head and the “Orthodox Jew’s” crushed glasses both look like inserts. The white wing of the victim’s crushed and displaced glasses seems to have been drawn in. There are signs of graphic tinkering in the relationship between the huge muscular arm in the forefront and the squeezed face of the suffering victim.
The reversal of Talmudic-style contempt for the Other (the Goy) cries out the pictured message of Jewish victimhood. The provocative power of the image is reinforced by the B’nai Brith’s very racialized description. In my recent research I have discovered that this image and other images very much like—images that often feature the same racist “White man”— show up on many Internet posts, even one I found translated into German.
Where the picture provides the main message, the text provides the “evidence” of the antisemitism that the B’nai Brith and its allied agencies are simultaneously engaged in inventing, cultivating, spotlighting and publicly combating. What justification would there be for the existence of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith without the métier of antisemitism? The primary essence of the B’nai B’rith entities is to advance the agendas of the Israeli entity in the Diaspora, in other words in Canada, USA, Britain, France. Australia, and many other countries.
The text in the offending item is perhaps the most appalling excerpt of gutter prose I have ever seen. Its contents are so reprehensible that they demand careful consideration. Like an illegal drug planted by corrupt police on a targeted individual, the reprehensible social media item has been metaphorically put on my digital front door step and then advertised by the B’nai Brith to advance its own political agenda. I am left with little alternative but to respond as decently and as conscientiously to a crime in progress.
The author, it is claimed by the item’s creator, is Ben “Tel Aviv Terror” Garrison. This Garrison person has many nicknames. He is made to exclaim,
“There was never a Holocaust, but there should have been and, rest assured, there WILL be, as you serpentine kikes richly deserve one. I will not rest until every single filthy. Parasitic kike is rounded up and slaughtered like the vermin they are. The White man has had more than enough of International Jewry and we are fully prepared to smite the parasite for the millionth time. The greedy, hook nosed kikes know that there days are numbered and, unlike in the past, they now have nowhere to run. This time, there will be no kikes left alive to spead around the planet like cockroaches. We will get them ALL into the oven and their putrid memory will finally be erased from the planet once and for all. Like all parasites the Jew will continue to reproduce until every last one has been wiped out. This is why it is crucial that all kikes are ruthlessly and mercilesslt butchered for the good of us all. KILL ALL JEWS NOW! EVERY LAST ONE!” Ben “Tel Aviv Terror” Garrison
What kind of demented mind would come up with such a macabre celebration of envisaged mass murder? What would be the motivation to pen such a blatant incitement to hate and slaughter of a specific people?
My research into the offending item’s origins quickly led me to the many Internet profiles and posts of Ben Garrison. Ben Garrison is apparently a real person who lives in Montana. It turns out that this Ben Garrison, the sole named individual in the miniature text of the offending Facebook post, is also the aggressor in the photo shopped image. Adorned with dark glasses and a cowboy hat, Garrison is pictured as (in the words of B’nai Brith) as “the White man assaulting an Orthodox Jew.”
The real life Ben Garrison is often described as a libertarian political satirist. He is a prolific cartoonist whose cartoon and personal images lie at the center of an increasingly contentious media circus. Significantly Facebook figures centrally in the many-faceted narrative of Ben Garrison. Perhaps his Facebook connection is a major reason why B’nai Brith and related agencies chose Garrison’s Internet personae as poster boy for its hate speech campaign of fund raising and ritual defamation.
Holocaust Studies experts at Tel-Aviv University are among the most outspoken proponents of the view that Ben Garrison is indeed the kind of bigoted psychopath who would in real life utter provocations to the genocide of Jews. These Israeli academicians would probably argue it is entirely in character for Ben Garrison to have actually declared with sincerity, “Kill All Jews.” The hypothesis that Ben Garrison’s racist screed should be taken at face value is implicit in the wording and headlines of the posts by B’nai Brith, Daniel Leons-Marder’s Everyday Antisemitism and the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.
The smear campaign’s architects and engineers are attempting a controlled demolition of my reputation in their quest to harness Facebook more fully to their own agendas. These architects and engineers count among their allies the creators and authors at Encyclopedia dramatica, Of Ben Garrison the encyclopedia’s drama experts report, “Scholars from Tel-Aviv University’s Center for Holocaust Studies have ominously described him [Ben Garrison] as the most racist man in the universe, and the biggest existential threat to the Jews since Hitler.”
This characterization runs counter to the dominant view that Garrison is “the Internet’s most trolled cartoonist.” According to a Breitbart article entitled “Ben Garrison: How the Internet Made a Fake White Supremacist”,
Montana-based artist Ben Garrison isn’t a violent Neo-Nazi, or even a white nationalist. He’s a polite, accomplished cartoonist, with no history of overt or covert racism. His true political leanings are libertarian, anti-elitist, and anti-globalist. Garrison is, in fact, the victim of one of the most extraordinary and longest-running smear campaigns on the internet.
For a mixture of amusement and spite, in a trolling spree that has lasted over six years, thousands of online pranksters and real neo-Nazis have been remixing his cartoons into racist caricatures. Most Ben Garrison cartoons attack the government, corporations, and political movements.
However, almost immediately after one is published, it is remixed into a new version that attacks Jews, African-Americans, or other minorities. These are rapidly disseminated in troll communities and sometimes become more widely-shared than the originals.
If Breitbart has it right and Tel-Aviv’s Center for Holocaust Studies has it wrong, then the real Ben Garrison could not have written the disgusting text that goes along with the offensive image of the cartoonist putting his victim in a headlock. If Ben Garrison is not to be understood as the kind of person who could have come up with the wording replicated and publicized by Amanda Hohmann, Daniel Leons-Marder,and B’nai Brith’s CEO, Michael Mostyn, then these individuals are involved in a telling case of false flag deception.
Given the nature of their dubious employment in what Norman Finkelstein has labeled the “Holocaust Industry,” I find it difficult to believe that these individuals as well as their bosses, underlings and associates were not aware of the controversy swirling around Ben Garrison. After all, I was able to discovered the basic outlines of the Garrison controversy in a few google searches after viewing the posts featuring Mostyn’s, Hohmann’s and Leons-Marder’s comments. Is this group merely incompetent? Are its members part of a concerted agenda to change the public policies of many agencies, including those of the Canadian government, Facebook and the University of Lethbridge, through calculated misrepresentations, frauds and incitements?
In an Internet post entitled “Ben Garrison on Trolls” the Montana cartoonist is said to speak for himself. Interestingly, Garrison’s observations begin with his reference to the very same Facebook reference to “community standards” that supposedly initiated the B’nai Brith’s slander of me.
“This page wasn’t removed. We reviewed the page you reported for harassment. Since it did not violate our community standards, we did not remove it. Thanks for your report.”
This is the message [writes Ben Garrison] I received after reporting a hate page on Facebook. Near the top of the hate page was a statement that encouraged the extermination of all Jews. Along with that statement was a photo of my face and the name Ben Garrison. Trolls had stolen my artwork and photos from my blog, my cartoon site as well as my fine art site and had concocted an entire page devoted to spewing libelous hate. The troll entity called the page ‘Ben Garrison Cartoons—the Official Site.’ The trolls had stamped the name ‘Ben Garrison’ onto as many hateful images as possible throughout the page. How does one stop such blatant libel? Where do these trolls come from? Is it even possible to track them down? Why do they do such terrible things? Why me?
As I found out, it’s not just me. Many others have suffered the same outrageous indignity. It appears that trolls are no longer content merely talk to each other on sordid sites such as ‘4chan’ or ‘Stormfront.’ They want to go mainstream. Therefore, social media are a natural target for them. Do they really believe the vitriolic memes they are shoveling, or are they merely playing an elaborate prank? It doesn’t matter. Their memes of hate must not go mainstream. Facebook must wake up and block the hate before it gets established. Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech is blind, one-dimensional blackness. It is not reasoned debate. It loudly shouts for the murder of human beings and Facebook is providing them a megaphone for that purpose.
In my view the largest weight of available evidence points to the conclusion that Ben Garrison did not write the “Kill All Jews” commentary. If Ben Garrison did not write the planted text, then who did?
Could the B’nai Brith’s highlighted social media item have been produced by a Zionist group, agency or individual? Why might partisans of Israel do such a thing? Could it be to provide the ammunition for smear campaigns directed against individuals and groups that criticize Israel? Could it be to create incidents to justify appeals for money such as those accompanying the B’nai Brith’s slanderous posts aimed at damaging the reputation of the University of Lethbridge and my tenured academic role in it as a 26-year member of the Arts and Science Faculty?
Worse, much worse, can be envisaged. Could it be that the production and planting of the of the Ben Garrison post as well as others like it might be deployed to provide “evidence” in thought crime and speech crime litigation, the ultimate specialty and raison d’etre of the B’nai Brith? It is easy to imagine how such an outlandish and extravagant expression of hostility as that said to come from Garrison could be rendered useful to Crown prosecutors serving the Zionist masters.
Regardless of its source, there is no doubt that the Ben Garrison post could conceivably be exploited as a tailor made item to assist Crown prosecutors serving the agenda of B’nai Brith and related agencies. Such an item could definitely be deployed in a litigious assault on designated targets in order to establish webs of connection linking alleged hate speech with genocidal intent as well as the semantic nuke in the Zionist arsenal of weaponized words.
The conspiracy to advance the public perception that the engineered phrase, “holocaust denial,” has any internal and external coherence as an outlawed category of forbidden thought and speech runs absolutely contrary to the intellectual viability of the academy as well as the health of society more generally. The basic premise of the world’s most fraught term creates a false dichotomy that is coming to epitomize the decline of evidence-based rationality beneath the ascent of a new kind of orthodoxy combining both religious and secular elements.
Those that want to entrench and enforce an outlawed realm of forbidden thought and articulation brandish the weaponized term like an ideological sniper on steroids. They have no interest in providing definitions of where orthodoxy ends and where denial begins. As I am discovering by raising even a simple call for “open debate” on the main platform of Zionism’s unaccountable power, there are harsh new authoritarian forces that need to be called to account if we are even to slow down the police state incursions in our post-911 world.
The new configurations of authority are extending to important agencies like the Royal Canadian Legion, Jasper National Park, and the Alberta Society of Fiddlers. Those overseeing these important institutions are made to feel empowered to impose arbitrary sanctions and punishments against an individual who dared to question enshrined orthodoxy.
The message is made clear that the vibrance of art and culture, the wellbeing of veterans as well as the need to protect some of Alberta’s most majestic Alpine environments have become secondary commitments. The treatment in Jasper National Park of violinist Monika Schaefer signals the end of our free and democratic society. Our right and need to express independent thought, the starting point of collective self-determination, has has been sacrificed in order to enforce supine obedience to the sanctification of an historical interpretation that must not be held subjected to sceptical scrutiny and reconsideration.
How many are now being held, including some Canadians, in dark European dungeons for questioning any aspect of the unrelenting vilification of Germany as home of the most the most evil society of monsters ever to walk the face of the earth? Will we ever be able to liberate ourselves from the spell that is causing us to become so blind and unresponsive to the holocausts we ourselves are imposing on the natural world and also on the besieged worldwide community of our Muslim brothers and sisters?
What are the chances that the nuclear holocaust currently being promoted by our governors can be held back when those most intent on making war not peace are so firmly in charge? Is there a connection between the decline of the anti-war movement and the rise of the militarized police state currently deploying false flag-induced fears to constrain our ability to think, speak and act in conformity with the imperatives of survival? What we most require at this moment is simple affirmations of life’s beauty and integrity. Instead we are delivered coercive dictates demanding we deny what our reason and research tells us to be true.
How did we the academics, but especially we the historians, allow it to happen that a whole category of the European past has been declared off bounds to unfettered discussion and critical investigative scholarship? By allowing this development to proceed, a very sweeping and consequential precedent is being set.
How did we the citizens allow the principle to develop that government can declare that whole subject areas of research and publication have been so perfectly interpreted, so correctly dealt with in every detail, that no revision and modification of existing conclusions can be allowed. What is the role of the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith in enforcing the ruthless bulldozing aside of the most basic foundations of freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and adherence to rigorous standards of scientific inquiry.
The B’nai Brith and Ben Garrison, the poster boy for the Zionist organization’s hate speech campaign, are exactly on the same page when it comes to Facebook. Both Ben Garrison and the B’nai Brith seek to constrain free speech on the Internet more tightly. Is this convergence of agendas a coincidence or are more calculated deceptions at play here? To publicize his desire that Facebook be more proactive in censoring the Internet, Garrison produced the following cartoon.
Facebook and Israel; Ben Garrison and the B’nai Brith
My FFWN co-host, Dr. Kevin Barrett, has evaluated the evidence surrounding the Garrison post and concluded it was “very likely produced by B’nai Brith itself, or other Zionist extremists of like mind, as a PR operation. No wonder they are “monitoring” the police to make sure they behave themselves.”
Presenting his own version of the B’nai Brith’s highlighted image, Dr. Barrett continues
The absurd rant with its lurid references to “greedy hook-nosed kikes” and so on does not pass the smell test. Whoever created this image obviously did not do so with the intention of convincing the public to take action against Jews and/or Zionists. On the contrary, it appears to have been designed for the opposite purpose: To convince the public that crazed, foul-mouthed, murderous anti-Semites are a clear and present danger.
Virtually every time a swastika is spray painted on a synagogue, the culprit turns out to be a “self-hating” Jewish Zionist trying to conjure up the specter of an “anti-Semitic threat.” Would an investigation of the provenance of this image find something similar?
Dr. Barrett observes that“the manufactured incident smearing Tony Hall may be part of a coordinated program, orchestrated from Tel Aviv, to try to stop the rise of the ever-increasing virtual army of pro-Palestine social media users.”
As highlighted in Telesur, the government of Israel and Facebook have been represented at the highest level in a series of meetings aimed at conspiring to hold back the growing flood of social media posts subjecting Israel’s maltreatment of the Palestinians to sceptical public scrutiny.
This recent development well demonstrates the specious nature of B’nai Brith’s characterization of Facebook as some kind of rogue agency unwilling to act immediately to pre-empt an existential threat emanating from Lethbridge. More likely the B’nai Brith’s alarmist posts in late August of 2016 were, in part at least, a ploy to divert attention from the reality that social media, but especially Facebook, is more and more being harnessed to Zionist goals and agendas.
Was the B’nai Brith’s deployment of the racist side of Ben Garrison’s dual public personae calculated to serve the double purpose of both smearing me and my school as well as leading interested parties to a surprising “libertarian” voice for the suppression of Internet freedom? What should be done about Internet trolls such as those at the B’nai Brith that have shown themselves to be unrelenting in planting lies and innuendo with the aim of silencing criticism of Israel?
Dr. Hall is editor in chief of American Herald Tribune. He is currently Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. He has been a teacher in the Canadian university system since 1982. Dr. Hall, has recently finished a big two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen’s University Press entitled “The Bowl with One Spoon”.
The new corporate-funded African-American History museum in Washington, D.C., built on the former site of Camp Democracy and all sorts of protests and festivals, is getting a great deal of purely positive press before its doors have opened.
This press and the museum’s own website suggest that the museum covers slavery, Jim Crow, racism, sports, and entertainment, but doesn’t step out of the mold set by the Smithsonian when it celebrated the Enola Gay or began letting war profiteers fund and shape the exhibits in the Air and Space Museum or in the American History Museum, which has gone out of its way to glorify war.
The New York Times informs us about the new museum: “Above ground, the museum departs from the chronological narrative to examine African-American achievements in fields like music, art, sports and the military. Visitors can tour these brighter third-floor and fourth-floor themed Culture and Community galleries without venturing into the harsher history sections below.”
Get it? War is part of a well-rounded liberal life alongside music and sports, unlike those “harsh” bits of history. The new museum’s website promotes “Military” as a category of exhibit item. Click it and you’ll find 162 things including smiling portraits of soldiers in uniforms, medals, letters, hats, binoculars, propaganda posters, etc. If you search the site for “Peace” you find one photo of an unidentified man wearing a peace sign necklace and one photo of unidentified men holding up a giant peace sign.
We know that Marin Luther King Jr. is to be found in the new museum, but we don’t know if he’s the corporate-approved Martin Luther King Jr. who opposed racism but never noticed war. We know that Muhammad Ali shows up in the sports section along with his head-gear and gloves. We don’t know if his reasons for refusing the Vietnam War draft are included.
African Americans have been a major part of resistance to war, especially from the Korean War through the nomination of Barack Obama for president. Some of this history is told by Kimberley Phillips who will be speaking in Washington, D.C., as the museum opens, but speaking at a conference at American University called No War 2016.
Does the Smithsonian touch on African-American resistance to wars on Africa or the growth of Africom? Also speaking at No War 2016 will be Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo. Is the story his group tells in the film Crisis in the Congo told by the Smithsonian? Also speaking on a panel on racism and war at No War 2016 will be Bill Fletcher Jr. and Darakshan Raja. Where is their wisdom at the Smithsonian? Where is any history of the ties between a racist foreign policy and domestic racism? What is the relationship between racism and war propaganda? I wouldn’t enter the new museum holding your breath until you find that exhibit.
What public service is being offered by a museum that celebrates the Tuskeegee Airmen but thus far has given no public indication that it will explore the significance of the Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment? Bombing foreigners who engage in human experimentation makes a better story than just bombing foreigners while engaging in human experimentation. The story can be told with the flaws of segregation, later remedied or in the process of quickly being repaired. There is value in that story. It’s not without its merits. But it is fundamentally false and may just get us all killed.
Caracas – Two top witnesses in a US drug case against the nephews of Venezuelan First Lady Cilia Flores confessed Friday to repeatedly lying to federal authorities in the course of the investigation.
During their testimony during a preliminary hearing in a Manhattan district court, the father-son team of undercover informants for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) admitted to lying to their handlers concerning illegal activities conducted during the probe, including allegations related to trafficking drugs into the US as well as hiring prostitutes.
Posing as members of the Mexican Sinoloa cartel, the informants were instrumental in the November 12 arrest of Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 30, and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 29, in Haiti, allegedly in possession of over 800 kilograms of cocaine.
Lawyers for the two nephews of Venezuela’s first lady and former parliamentary president punctured holes in the DEA case on Friday, raising serious doubts concerning the credibility of the witnesses.
During a lengthy cross-examination, defense attorneys John Zach and David Roday obtained confessions that the two informants had abused narcotics and hired prostitutes while working on DEA missions, in addition to concealing vital information from federal authorities.
“I did lie to them,” said the 55-year-old father, identified in the case as CS-1.
The informant confessed that he had paid for two prostitutes during a DEA mission in Venezuela, in addition to bringing an unauthorized individual into the operation. He further admitted that he failed to inform prosecutors of these incidents until a lunch break following his son’s testimony that very day.
The two were arrested early this year and have pleaded guilty to drug charges as well as lying to authorities in exchange for a cooperation agreement.
However, that agreement might now be in jeopardy in light of the latest revelations.
“They [the prosecutors] are extremely unhappy and are going to review everything,” CS-1 stated.
The pair have reportedly received over USD $1.2 million from the US government for their work.
While the case has yet to go to trial, the defense hopes to get the charges thrown out and the nephews’ confessions suppressed, which they claim were obtained under coercion, without duly informing the defendants of their Fifth Amendment rights.
A recent article in The New York Times entitled, “The Secret History of Colombia’s Paramilitaries & The U.S. War on Drugs,” contains useful clues as to the U.S.’s true views towards the Colombian death squads and their massive war crimes and human rights abuses.  In short, it reveals a high-level of tolerance of, and condonation by, U.S. policy-makers for the suffering of the Colombian people at the hands of our long-time friends and allies, the right-wing paramilitaries.
The gist of the NYT story is that, beginning in 2008, the U.S. has extradited “several dozen” top paramilitary leaders, thereby helping them to evade a transitional justice process which would have held them accountable for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have been brought to the U.S. where they have been tried for drug-related offenses only and given cushy sentences of 10 years in prison on average. And, even more incredibly, “for some, there is a special dividend at the end of their incarceration. Though wanted by Colombian authorities, two have won permission to stay in the United States, and their families have joined them. There are more seeking the same haven, and still others are expected to follow suit.”
That these paramilitaries – 40 in all that the NYT investigated — are being given such preferential treatment is shocking given the magnitude of their crimes. For example, paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, “who the government said ‘may well be one of the most prolific cocaine traffickers ever prosecuted in a United States District Court,’” has been found by Colombian courts to be “responsible for the death or disappearance of more than 1,000 people.” Yet, as a result of his cooperation with U.S. authorities Mr. Mancuso “will spend little more than 12 years behind bars in the U.S.”
Another paramilitary, the one the article focuses on most, is Hernan Giraldo Serna, and he committed “1800 serious human rights violations with over 4,000 victims . . . .” Mr. Giraldo was known as “The Drill” because of his penchant for raping young girls, some as young as 9 years old. Indeed, he has been “labeled . . . ‘the biggest sexual predator of paramilitarism.” While being prosecuted in the U.S. for drug-related crimes only, Mr. Giraldo too is being shielded by the U.S. from prosecution back in Colombia for his most atrocious crimes.
And so, what is going on here? The NYT gives a couple reasons for why the U.S. would protect such “designated terrorists responsible for massacres, forced disappearances and the displacement of entire villages,” and give them “relatively lenient treatment.”
First, it correctly explains that former President Alvaro Uribe, the most prominent and outspoken opponent of the peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas, asked the U.S. to extradite these paramilitary leaders because, back home in Colombia, they had begun “confessing not only their war crimes but also their ties to his allies and relatives.” The NYT also writes off the U.S. treatment of these paramilitaries as the U.S. giving priority to its war on drugs “over Colombia’s efforts to confront crimes against humanity that had scarred a generation.”
Unfortunately, these explanations let the U.S. off the hook too easily, for they do not tell the whole story behind the U.S.’s relationship with Colombia and its death squads.
First of all, let’s start with former President Alvaro Uribe who the NYT states has a “’shared ideology’” with these paramilitaries and their leaders. This is of course true. But what does this say about the United States which gave billions of dollars of military assistance to Colombia when Uribe was President, all the while knowing that he had a long history of paramilitary ties and drug trafficking and that his military was working alongside the paramilitaries in carrying out abuses on a massive scale? And, how about the fact that Uribe was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush who considered Uribe his best friend in the region?
The answer is that the U.S. also shares an ideology with both Uribe and his paramilitary friends, and that it has wanted to prevent the paramilitaries from not only confessing to their links with Uribe, but also from confessing their links to the U.S. military, intelligence and corporations.
The NYT, while ultimately pulling its punches here, at least touches upon this issue when it states that “the paramilitaries, while opponents in the war on drugs, were technically on the same side as the Colombian and American governments in the civil war.” But “technically” is not le mot juste; rather, it is an imprecise and mushy term used to understate the true relationship of the paramilitaries with the U.S. The paramilitaries have not just been “technically” on the side of the U.S. and Colombian governments; rather, they have been objectively and subjectively on their side, and indeed an integral part of the U.S./Colombia counter-insurgency program in Colombia for decades.
Indeed, the paramilitaries were the invention of the United States back in 1962, even before the FARC itself was formed (in 1964) and before the civil war there began in earnest. Thus, as Noam Chomsky explains:
The president of the Colombian Permanent Committee for Human Rights, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Vasquez Carrizosa, writes that it is “poverty and insufficient land reform” that “have made Colombia one of the most tragic countries of Latin America,” though as elsewhere, “violence has been exacerbated by external factors,” primarily the initiatives of the Kennedy Administration, which “took great pains to transform our regular armies into counterinsurgency brigades,” ushering in “what is known in Latin America as the National Security Doctrine,” which is not concerned with “defense against an external enemy” but rather “the internal enemy.” The new “strategy of the death squads” accords the military “the right to fight and to exterminate social workers, trade unionists, men and women who are not supportive of the establishment, and who are assumed to be communist extremists.”
As part of its strategy of converting the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” to “internal security” — meaning war against the domestic population — Kennedy dispatched a military mission to Colombia in 1962 headed by Special Forces General William Yarborough. He proposed “reforms” to enable the security forces to “as necessary execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents” — the “communist extremists” to whom Vasquez Carrizosa alludes. 
While the paramilitaries have been ever-evolving, taking different forms over the years and receiving legal imprimatur at some times and not at others, they have remained until this day, carrying out the same essential functions enumerated by Chomsky above while giving plausible deniability to both the U.S. and Colombian governments.
The potential confession of paramilitary leaders to their links with the U.S. and Colombia, as well as to U.S. multinationals, was as much of a threat to the U.S. as their confessions were to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. And that is why the U.S. extradited the top paramilitary leaders and treated them with kid gloves.
As just one example, paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso told investigators nearly 10 years ago that it was not only Chiquita that provided financial support to the paramilitaries (this is already known because Chiquita pled guilty to such conduct and received a small, $25 million fine for doing so), but also companies like Del Monte and Dole.  However, given that Mancuso was never put on trial (the NYT notes that none of the paramilitary leaders have) but instead was given a light sentence based upon a plea deal, such statements have never gone on the court record, were never pursued by authorities and have largely been forgotten.
That there is more to the story than the NYT is telling us is revealed by the inherent contradictions of its story. Thus, the NYT at one point states that “[t]his is a crime story tangled up in geopolitics. Colombia is the United States’ closest ally and largest aid recipient in the region, and the partnership has focused on combating narcotics, guerillas and terrorism.”
Of course, it is quite true that the U.S. and Colombia have partnered together to fight both the guerillas as well as peaceful activists for social change. As just one example, Colombian President Santos just admitted and apologized for the Colombian government’s role in aiding and abetting the paramilitaries in murdering thousands of candidates and activists of the left-wing Patriotic Union party (UP) back in the 1980’s  – repression which scuttled the peace agreement with the FARC reached back then.
However, the other two listed goals of the partnership appear to be mere pretexts.
Let’s start with the claim, unchallenged in this story, that the U.S./Colombia partnership has been focused on combating terrorism. How could this possibly be given that the U.S. has in fact extradited the worst “designated terrorists” from Colombia – indeed, the NYT at one point acknowledges in the story that the paramilitaries have been the worst human rights violators in Colombia — and ensured that they will never answer for their acts of terrorism?
And, as for combating drugs, the NYT also points out elsewhere in the same story what many of us have been pointing out for years – that in spite of the U.S. dumping around $10 billion in military aid into Colombia since 2000, “[c]oca cultivation has been soaring in Colombia, with a significant increase over the last couple of years in acreage dedicated to drug crops.”
This leads us back to the more plausible claim that the U.S./Colombia partnership has in fact been all about instigating and supporting terror – that is, terror against the Colombian population in order to destroy any movement (whether armed or non-violent) for social change. That is why both the Colombian and U.S. governments are content to hold the paramilitaries harmless for their war crimes, for, after all, it was their job to commit such crimes and it was a job well-done. Indeed, the NYT quotes U.S. lawyers, a retired U.S. prosecutor and the U.S. Judge who gave a light sentence to vicious paramilitary leader Rodrigo Tovar-Pupo (alias, “Jorge 40”) for the proposition that these paramilitaries are viewed as “freedom fighters” whose role in the Colombian civil war is actually a “mitigating rather than aggravating factor in their cases.”
The paramilitaries in Colombia, and the role of the U.S. and Colombian governments in supporting them, should not be viewed as merely an academic matter for the history books. The paramilitaries are still very much alive in Colombia, and are still carrying out massive abuses such as the targeted killings of social leaders; mass displacements of peasants, Afro-Colombians and indigenous; disappearances; and torture.  And, the U.S. and Colombian governments, in order to continue to be able to shield themselves from any blame for the conduct of these paramilitaries, now simply deny that they exist at all. It is therefore more critical than ever that the truth about these paramilitaries, and their high-level backers in both the U.S. and Colombia, is exposed and their misdeeds denounced and punished.
Abby Ohlheiser, Accessory after the Fact [source: Washington Post ]
Number 2 : Abby Ohlheiser, the Washington Post, and Facebook, for “Facebook’s trending topics promoted an article ‘truthering’ the Sept. 11 attacks”
ON the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, experts are sensationally claiming it is impossible that the towers were brought down by planes.
Instead, leading engineers believe the Twin Towers may have collapsed due to a “controlled demolition” – something it is claimed there is video evidence to support.
They disagree with the investigation done by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that was launched in August 2002.
Video evidence – which was made by people with a similar theory – has been posted online and seeks to offer proof.
Seriously? This is Abby Ohlheiser?
No, sorry. This is Rachel O’Donoghue, writing for UK readers in the Daily Star, under the headline:
[source: Daily Star ]
Rachel O’Donoghue needs a good copy editor; I’ve fixed her spelling errors, but I haven’t changed any of her words. She continues:
That six-year analysis of what caused the collapse also looked at the lesser known World Trade Centre 7 building, a third building that sat right next to the towers and fell at 5.20pm on the afternoon of September 11 – more than six hours after the two skyscrapers tumbled to the ground.
Its conclusion was that the “WTC Towers and WTC 7 [were] the only known cases of total structural collapse in high-rise buildings where fires played a significant role.”
The fires were apparently sparked by jet fuel that caused huge fires to engulf the upper floors after American Airlines Flights 11 and 175 smashed into the structures in a series of coordinated attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001.
But since the NIST investigation concluded, it has been pointed out that buildings like the World Trade Centre were specifically designed to withstand a fire and huge impacts like a plane hitting them.
What does this have to do with Abby Ohlheiser? Therein lies an interesting tale…
As you may know, Facebook has built its success on a foundation of really good ideas, and one of those ideas was to give their users an easy way to “feel the pulse” of the Internet, so to speak.
The idea is: With a bit of research, one could answer questions such as: What subjects are people talking about? and What are they reading?
The answers to these questions could be used to create a list of links, and that list could appear on the user’s sidebar, under the heading “Trending Topics.”
It was a fantastic idea, and they hired some people to do it, and it worked out great! But there was a problem.
The problem was not in making the list but in keeping it up to date. That was difficult and expensive and required a large staff working more or less continuously, and wasn’t this the sort of thing that could be done by software?
Well, of course it could. But they didn’t have the software, so the software had to be developed, and now it’s ready, or at least it’s ready enough to be deployed. So Facebook has replaced the people who used to maintain “Trending Topics” with a computer program.
Presumably because this software has only recently been developed, it’s still a little bit naive, so to speak.
That is to say, it was probably written to do what it was supposed to do. Stories like this come up frequently, and they illustrate both the strength and the weakness of doing things by computer. A computer does what it’s told: quickly, cheaply, precisely, and reliably. If it does the wrong thing, it usually means it was following the wrong instructions. And there’s the rub. A computer is “smart enough” to follow instructions, but it’s not smart enough to know when its instructions are wrong!
You would be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at how often newly developed software is perceived as “faulty” because it was designed according to specifications which did not accurately reflect the needs of the people who had commissioned it. This has happened so often to me personally that I have come to expect it.
In the current instance, the case of Facebook’s “Trending Topics,” the programmers apparently designed the code to search and sort, building its lists according to the criteria I described above, and giving no attention to certain “hidden assumptions” which human editors take for granted.
In particular, the software didn’t know that the facts of 9/11 must be suppressed.
Rachel O’Donoghue’s piece appeared on Tuesday, September 6, and within a few days it attracted so much attention that Facebook’s software noticed it. But the software failed to perceive that the headline, September 11: The footage that ‘proves bombs were planted in Twin Towers’ could potentially be politically volatile.
Needless to say, this is an error that no human editor would ever make, but the software was just too dumb to pick up on the implications of the headline, or to read the article and find out what it said. And nobody was supervising it. The software was “flying solo.”
And it came to pass that early on Friday, September 9, Facebook users found “September 11th Anniversary” on their sidebar, and if they hovered over the topic, they saw this:
click to enlarge [source: Facebook via Abby Ohlheiser]
If they clicked on it, they saw this:
click to enlarge [source: Facebook via Abby Ohlheiser]
And if they clicked on this, they could read Rachel O’Donoghue!
When Abby Ohlheiser found out, she was most unimpressed. As she wrote:
Facebook users looking for more context on why the Sept. 11 terrorist attack anniversary was trending on the platform on Friday were, for a time, directed to a tabloid article claiming that “experts” had footage that “proves bombs were planted in Twin Towers.”
The Daily Star piece promoted by Facebook repeats a lot of common claims from 9/11 “trutherism,” a conspiracy theory based on an idea (unsupported by any actual evidence) that the World Trade Center must have collapsed in 2001 because of a “controlled demolition” and not from the damage caused by the airliner crashes.
This photo shows material being ejected from the South Tower, well below the impact zone and before the collapse of the building. It is prima facie evidence of explosives and therefore must be suppressed. [source: Daily Star ]
Is this correct? Well, no!
Unfortunately for Abby Ohlheiser, the Daily Star piece by Rachel O’Donoghue documents “actual evidence” of explosives in the towers, the existence of which Abby Ohlheiser flatly denies!
Engineers Steven Jones, Robert Korol, Anthony Szamboti and Ted Walter are part of the growing community of experts who say evidence indicates the towers were brought down in a controlled demolition.
They wrote a paper for Europhysics News highlighting four important pieces of evidence pointing to this conclusion.
– Fires are not normally hot enough to heat a massive steel structure enough for it to collapse
– The majority of high rise buildings have sprinkler systems that prevent a fire from getting hot enough to heat steel to a critical level
– Skyscrapers are protected using flame-proof materials
– And they are designed so that if compromised, they do not collapse.
They go on to point out that the towers were actually designed to stay standing in the event of seismic activity, such as earthquakes, and incredibly high winds.
Abby Ohlheiser tells us what happened when she found out Facebook was linking to this article:
Shortly after The Intersect [i.e. Abby Ohlheiser] reached out to Facebook for a comment on the matter, the article disappeared from Facebook’s page for the topic. The lead article switched to a local news piece about a photograph showing beams of light bouncing off One World Trade Center.
“We’re aware a hoax article showed up there,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement on Friday, “and as a temporary step to resolving this we’ve removed the topic.”
The misstep comes weeks after the company removed the human editors who used to describe and curate the site’s trending topics, leaving the task of providing context for those topics to an algorithmically selected article from another site. As this most recent example illustrates, the algorithms haven’t always been up to the task.
“Algorithm” is a fancy name for a set of instructions. And one question which suggests itself is: Have the algorithms really failed in their task?
I can’t help thinking the answer depends on how the task is defined. If the task is to promote the topics that the greatest number of people want to read about, and the articles that the greatest number of people are reading, that’s one thing. If the task is to prefer relatively safe topics and politically acceptable articles, even if fewer people are reading them … well, that’s different.
And I humbly suggest that this difference was the cause of Abby Ohlheiser’s discomfort.
In an alternate universe where we had a free press and free social media, “trending” would mean “trending,” just as “topic” means “topic.” The most popular article under each topic would appear on the sidebar. And if people started learning about facts that the supporters of an absurd and murderous story wanted to suppress, that would be just too bad for them.
In such a universe, when Abby Ohlheiser “reached out” for a comment, the Facebook spokeswoman would say, “We are in the business of facilitating — not impeding — connections between our users and the rest of the world. We will not bow to pressure from politicians, nor from journalists, nor from anybody else. And you will just have to grow up and accept the fact that ‘trending’ means ‘trending,’ which is not always the same as ‘trending and pleasing to you.’ We thank you for your understanding, and we hope that in the future you will not waste any more of your time on similar complaints.”
But of course we live in the real universe, so Facebook declared Rachel O’Donoghue’s piece a “hoax” and removed the link.
Later, according the the spokeswoman, Facebook removed the whole “September 11th Anniversary” topic, which, as you can see in the screenshot preserved by Abby Ohlheiser, was at the time the most popular topic on the list by far, leading an NFL player who had not stood during the national anthem the previous evening by a margin of 340K to 28K.
This photo, which allegedly shows the beginning of a gravity-driven collapse, looks more like a volcano erupting, and therefore must be suppressed. [source: Daily Star ]
Hoax? What hoax? The official story is a hoax!
As Rachel O’Donoghue notes:
John Skilling, the chief structural engineer of the World Trade Centre, even admitted in 1993 – eight years before the disaster – they were made to specifically withstand the force of a jet hitting them.
In an interview with the Seattle Times he said: “Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed [but] the building structure would still be there.”
He then commented that in his view, the only thing that could bring them down would be explosives of some sort.
Eyewitness accounts describing the aftermath of the attacks supports the theory explosives were planted inside the towers.
Shortly after the planes hit, numerous interviews were recorded in which people who had been inside the World Trade Centre said that when they ran down from the upper floors they found the lobby had been completely destroyed.
Some also described finding people who had not been upstairs with “their faces blown off”.
Eyewitnesses who describe the lobby as completely destroyed, and statements about people who had “their faces blown off” despite not having been upstairs, pose a grave danger to Abby Ohlheiser and her contention that the “conspiracy theory” is “unsupported by any actual evidence” and threaten Facebook’s assertion that Rachel Donoghue’s article is a hoax.
But all these bits of suppressed evidence certainly corroborate the story Bob McIlvaine tells about his son Bobby.
Had Abby Ohlheiser not made such a big stink about Rachel O’Donoghue’s piece, I probably would not have seen it, and I wouldn’t be able to share the details with you here. But this is Abby Ohlheiser’s game, apparently — monitoring other “reporters” and complaining if they happen to cross one of her invisible lines.
Fortunately, if she can bend them to her will, she’s not content to let the matter rest. She uses her platform to tell everyone what has happened, even if it means bringing attention to the very thing she is trying to suppress.
On September 9, Facebook users were given the false impression that the “Topic” “September 11th Anniversary” was “Trending” because of these photos. Thanks to Abby Ohlheiser, we now know how and why this happened. [source: ABC 7 NY dot Com]
So, even if we stipulate that Abby Ohlheiser prevented a very large number of people from reading Rachel O’Donoghue’s piece, she still qualifies as a fail in my book for two reasons.
First, she gave the world a screenshot showing Rachel O’Donoghue’s headline and the name of her paper, so that everyone could see what had been published and where to find it. Now all her readers — and both of mine — know all about it.
Second, she has shown us very clearly how easily Facebook can be manipulated into suppressing vital evidence in a case of mass murder, and who she is and what she wants, and the same about the Washington Post, and the same about Facebook — which may be important if anyone is still in doubt.
Had Facebook not turned tail and fled, its users would have found it easier to maintain the illusion that they have a free press and free social media. But they might have learned a thing or two as well, and no doubt here lies the perceived danger.
Certainly Facebook’s part in this story proves one thing: Even if you can’t please everybody, you can certainly displease everybody. Those who aren’t angry at Facebook for linking to Rachel O’Donoghue are angry at Facebook for taking down the link and calling the truth a “hoax”. Or at least they should be.
Had Rachel O’Donoghue not mentioned her source, I might not have found the article she was writing about.
It’s from Europhysics News, it was written by Steven Jones, Robert Korol, Anthony Szamboti and Ted Walter. It’s called “15 Years Later: On The Physics Of High-Rise Building Collapses,” and it includes:
– a short explanation of why steel-framed buildings don’t normally collapse, even after long hot fires,
– a short history of building demolition techniques, including the most modern ones,
– an overview of the reasons why they believe the towers were destroyed by modern demolition techniques and not by fires,
– a review of the official investigations, showing how far they were willing to deviate from the normal logical and physical constraints, and how little scrutiny their conclusions can bear, and
– a summary of the eyewitness evidence concerning explosives in the buildings, concluding this way:
Some 156 witnesses, including 135 first responders, have been documented as saying that they saw, heard, and/or felt explosions prior to and/or during the collapses. That the Twin Towers were brought down with explosives appears to have been the initial prevailing view among most first responders. “I thought it was exploding, actually,” said John Coyle, a fire marshal. “Everyone I think at that point still thought these things were blown up”.
When John Coyle says, “Everyone I think at that point still thought these things were blown up,” the words “at that point” and “still” indicate the power of the propaganda machine behind the official story. Even though they lived through it, many of the first responders became convinced in the aftermath that their perceptions of the day’s events had been wrong!
And yet! Popular support for 9/11 Truth endures, even after 15 years of relentless and powerful propaganda, partially because so many people know about the evidence that the perpetrators and their accessories after the fact are trying to suppress.
We can see what they’re trying to do. We can figure out why. And we’re not going away anytime soon.
Sorry, Abby! You lose! And so does your sad excuse for a newspaper.
Sorry, Washington Post ! If you don’t tell the truth about something important soon, I may quit letting you use my initials!
Sorry, Facebook, You lose, too! Everyone can see where you stand and why. “Oh, my!”
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present: three pathetic losers on the wrong side of a bloody red line marked “mass murder for profit!”
As I’ve been saying:
The facts must be suppressed, and the people who are trying to gather and disseminate those facts must be suppressed, and that is the one and only thing that matters to these people. And why? Why would you hide the crime unless you were trying to protect the criminals?